How to Start a Blog

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Blogging has quite literally changed my life.  My husband graduated with 25k in student loan debt (which I realize is even on the low side!) and I was staying home with our daughter as we both looked for a job in 2009, a long time before the job market had recovered.  I started blogging as a hobby, and very soon I was making a 6 figure income working from home while raising my (now) 4 children.  Check out my Income Reports here!  You can earn thousands each month by blogging and working from home.  Here I have included discounted pricing on hosting and domains through Bluehost that can help you set up a WordPress blog for just a few dollars to get started.  If you are considering this, you should be quick and start soon, because these prices probably won’t last long!  

Start your blog on wordpress here, and then I will personally walk you through each step to get set up with your new WordPress blog.

Blogging has completely changed my life.  It is truly a dream come true to work from home, doing something that I love.  I can work on my own schedule (bedtimes and naptimes!) as well as travel and work from any location.  My schedule is flexible and I make more money than was ever possible at my “real job.”

Anyone can make money blogging.   is something anyone can do, as long as you get started the right way.  A lot of people that start to dabble in blogging want to start out as inexpensive as possible, which I totally understand.  But pleeeease, resist the urge to sign up with a a free platform like Blogger.  The problem with this, is that it really limits the money that you can make on your blog.  Many money-making blogs started out there, and they had to go through the laborious process of switching their website to a self-hosted WordPress blog in order to really be able to monetize their blog.  It is an extra step and a pain in the neck.  If you want to start a blog, you definitely want to make money from it.  You need to start out on the right track.  

When you start any business, you want to do it as inexpensive as possible.  Bluehost is probably your best bet when it comes to hosting services that are both reliable and cheap.  

*If you are wondering “What is hosting?” then you are not alone.  If you have never had a website or blog before, you may not know.  I remember actually googling the term “What is hosting” when I was starting my very first website.  We are all at a different place in this process.  Some are just starting, some have had blogs before, and some people don’t know where to start at all.  This is where I come in:)   I explain all the blogging lingo in THIS post.

Bluehost is one of the best options for a hosting company.  The hosting is reliable, customer service is prompt and it is definitely the cheapest program out there, especially for new bloggers. I have had a great experience with Bluehost.  They have given my readers a very special rate and you can start your own blog for as low as $3.49 a month with my link!  That is crazy low and I don’t know how long it will last.  If you are considering starting a blog, this is the best deal you will find. Register your domain with them using my special link, and get a fantastic discount!  Bluehost and their 24/7 customer service line saved my life when I started blogging. I was full of questions, and they had all of the answers! 

If you ever want to make money on your blog, you must be self-hosted.  You can run advertisements, affiliate links, work through sponsorships and any other advertising that you wish.  When you are self-hosted, you have the power to make those choices.  I know it can be scary to put money into something, hoping it will work out, but hosting plans at Bluehost are so cheap, that it is easy to earn that money back and so much more.

Blogging, for me, started with a self-hosted website.  I have never had to make the switch, but have many blogger friends who have.  It is a huge pain.  If you start out on the right track, you will be ready to make money blogging much sooner, without all the hassle.  It is so inexpensive to use Bluehost (they are even giving a free domain with my link this month!) that you can make that money back so fast, and it is well worth it.  If you are wondering what kind of money can be made blogging, check out my Income Reports page.  I will report my monthly income blogging, each month with a breakdown of how it is made.  I will also be interviewing other bloggers, to get their tips and tricks to making 6 figures blogging.  I will also report on other bloggers’ income, so you can get a feel for the community, and what is working and what isn’t.  I hope this is helpful.

If you want to know more about hosting and other website and blog lingo, read my post Blogging Basics-Starting From Scratch.

Bluehost is super easy to set up.  There are a ton of reasons that I choose to recommend Bluehost and there are a few:

  • Chat support that goes above and beyond.  There are times that I had a question about my site that I thought was related to hosting, and even if it had nothing to do with them, they have pointed me in the right direction.  I love their chat support and I rarely wait very long for a representative.
  • Self-hosted blogs are the best way to make money blogging.  Definitely get a hosting plan instead of a free platform.
  • WordPress comes with Bluehost hosting, so there is no charge.  You get WordPress for FREE!!
  • Bluehost will walk you through the entire process of setting up your hosting and installing WordPress.  It is so easy!
  • Bluehost is the best option for cheap web hosting.  Hosting plans through other providers can be as much as $8-15 a month, and Bluehost is offering it to my readers for only $3.49 per month.
  • No Risk!  I always trust companies that allow you to cancel at any time.  There is no contract and you can cancel and move to another hosting company any time you want.  This tells me that they stand by their service and trust that you will stay, based on having a good experience.  It is cheaper to pay for a year at a time, but you can still cancel any time, even if you choose to do that.

The Process is super easy, so click here to get started.

Bluehost get started now

First things first, what is your blog name?  This is the fun (and kind of hard?) part!  What do you want your blog name to be?  This is where you choose your domain. I recommend doing something that is easy to spell, with no hyphens or unusual spellings, unless you are already well-branded.  It can be a pain to have to spell your blog name every single time you tell someone.  I know, my last name is spelled CRAZY!  It might as well have a silent 7 in it.

Step 1

Register Your Domain Name

Choose something timeless.  Choose something that you like to say (strange, but you say it so much!  Make it easy!)  Also, it can be tricky to find names that are still available.  I have come up with a few *what I thought was* original names, only to find out they were taken.  So, you probably won’t get your first pick.  But keep looking.  Don’t be tempted to do anything but a “.com”- for a lot of reasons.

You can get your domain from Bluehost and then the process of setup is extremely easy.  You can even get a free domain through my link, which usually costs about $15 or so.  You get a cheaper monthly price on hosting the longer you sign up for, so consider that when choosing your package.  To check if your domain is available, just go to Bluehost and type them into the domains section to check.  It will tell you if it is already taken or available.

Starting out, the basic package should give you everything you will need.  As traffic increases and your needs become more complex, they can upgrade your plan anytime.

 

Bluehost Plans

Here is the detailed information for when you are comparing packages.

Bluehost Package info

Once you have your domain, you are ready to buy hosting for your blog.

Step 2

Buy Hosting for Your New Blog

Hosting is the first (and most significant) expense for blogging.  The cheapest route to go is to sign up for a 12 month plan, which gives you the free domain as well as the cheapest price per month on hosting that you will find.  There are add-ons that you probably won’t need right now, but I definitely recommend doing the Domain Privacy Protection.  This is very cheap, and keeps your personal information from being public (associated with your domain.)  Some may not mind, but I like to have that protected, when I am already putting so much out there on my blog:)

The basic plan is all you really need, so I would just choose that for now.  As I mentioned before, if you need more later (and let’s hope you do) you can always upgrade your current plan with no penalties.

You can sign up for a 12 month, 24 month, or 36 month hosting package, but don’t worry!  There is no contract, but you get better rates the longer the package.  I would definitely sign up for at least a 12 month package, to get the better monthly price.  The 36 month package offers the very best price and you won’t find a better price anywhere else.  This also comes with the free domain, which pays for itself very quickly, with the savings from the more expensive plans.

You can always get a refund, but I don’t think you will need one:)

It is time to buy hosting for your blog!  Here is how you do it.

1- Go to Bluehost now, and click on the “Get Started Now” button

2- Click on the Basic package, or whichever package you are interested in (again, just getting started, basic is probably sufficient.)

3- Enter your domain name that you already registered or get your domain name here.

4- Fill out the forms with your contact info as well as payment information

5- Choose a password

 

Step 3

Choose Nameservers

***This only needs to be done if you Register your domain through another provider.  Skip this step if you Registered your domain through Bluehost***

You might be thinking “…nameservers, whaa?”  This is where you connect your domain name and hosting plan.  It is basically pointing your domain to your hosting plan and communicating between each other.  Sounds complicated?  It’s not:)  It is super easy.

First, You need to go to “manage domains” wherever you bought your domain.  Again, if you bought it on Bluehost, skip this whole step.

Once you go to manage domains, you want to “set name servers” and you want to change these to the nameservers that you get from Bluehost.  There are 2, ns1.bluehost.com and ns2.bluehost.com.  Once you log in to your Bluehost hosting account, you can add this as an addon domain.  It is very easy to do.  Just follow the steps and you are set.  Also, if you run into any trouble along this way, this is the best time to chat with Bluehost.  They will personally walk you through the whole process.  If you still need help,  feel free to email me.  I would be happy to help:)  Honestly, nothing makes me happier than to help someone start a blog that helps lighten a financial burden or helps pay off debt, etc.  It has really become a passion for me!

Step 4

Install WordPress

One of the things I love about Bluehost is how easy this process is.  It is so easy to create a WordPress blog and it is free, too!  You can literally be a blogger and have the opportunity to create a very substantial income with only a few bucks a month!  Once you have registered your domain name, and bought a hosting package, you are ready to install WordPress and start blogging:)

Check your “welcome” email from Bluehost and click on the link that will take you to your cPanel

Click on the “One Click Install” button

On the second page, you will see a section that is named “Blogs.”  Find a button that has a WordPress icon and click on that.

Start the installation process.  Choose your domain from the dropdown box (maybe the only one there, unless you are ambitious and want to be a super blogger!)

Click on the “Advanced Options” button and choose your login info for your WordPress blog.  Admin is the common “default” but don’t use that!  You want it to be something secure.  Choose something you will remember, but that isn’t too common.

Choose “Automatically create a new database for this installation”

Click “Install Now”

Congratulations!  You now have your very own WordPress blog!  How easy was that?  Be sure to save passowords and any info that you need to login to your CPanel, as well as your WordPress site.  I have made a super secure doc that I keep with passwords and usernames, etc.  Hopefully, you are logging in enough to remember it after a while, but I hate it when I can’t log into something!

If any of these steps are confusing or hard, Bluehost chat is SO helpful.  Also, I am so happy to help point you in the right direction, as well.

If you want to learn a few tips about WordPress, read WordPress Tips for the New Blogger.

Here are a few highlights:

  1. After signing into your WordPress Blog, you can now choose a “theme” or template.  There are thousands upon thousands of themes.  Some you can purchase, and some are free.  To find themes, go to appearance and click on “Themes” and then choose “add new” at the top.  You can scroll through many themes to choose something that has the layout that you want.  I have used Genesis in the past and really liked it.  Be sure to pick something that is user-friendly or has good reviews.  And don’t be afraid to change it once you get started, if you decide that it doesn’t work the way you want it to.  Some themes have a lot more options than others.
  2. On the left side, you are going to see a lot of options.  “Posts” is where you will be adding your blog posts.  It is really intuitive, almost like a Microsoft Word document.  To add pictures, use the “add media” option at the top of the post.  There are bullets, page breaks, font sizes and more.  You can add links by highlighting a word and clicking on the “link” button above, and copying and pasting the URL that you want the link to go to.  There are endless options, so get in there and play around with it!
  3. Widgets will add items to your sidebar, header, etc.  There are a lot of widgets there to help you achieve the look and function you are going for.

And now that you are a bonified blogger, you may want to start researching and learning everything you can about blogging!  I have been blogging for 7 years+ and have recently been earning between $60,000 to $75,000 per month blogging, and I want to help you!  Here are some other blogging posts that can really help you, too.

Blogging Basics- Starting From Scratch

How to Make Money Blogging

10 Ways to Earn a Living on the Internet

I hope this helps someone out there!  I was all on my own trying to figure all of this stuff out, and there is a lot to know!  Email me or comment with questions, I would love to help!